The messianic Beatles
How much sadness on that 10 April 1970. For many, it represented the farewell from youth, the day we woke up from the dream, the day we found ourselves taking leave of the Sixties, with our dreams of revolution, of change, discovery and wonder. That was also the day the Beatles officially disbanded. “Paul is quitting The Beatles,” wrote the Daily Mirror on its front page, almost nine columns, drawing the news from some typed answers from McCartney, who was promoting the release of his first solo album. Sir Paul was leaving the Beatles “for personal and professional reasons” and the story sadly ended. In their brief but fulminating parable, which lasted about 8 years, the Beatles had changed the face not only of the entire popular music, but also produced an irreversible influence in the fields of fashion, costume, spirituality and even politics. Writer Timothy Leary reiterated that: “The Beatles are messiahs. Prototypes of a new race of free and joyful men. Agents of evolution sent by God, endowed with mysterious powers and capable of giving birth to a new species of human beings. “And instead, as normal human beings, the four had simply quarreled and the group, revered by millions of fans in all over the world, had come to an end despite that fulminating debut: it was August 1962 when John Lennon (vocals, rhythm guitar), Paul McCartney (vocals, bass), George Harrison (vocals, lead guitar) and Ringo Starr (drums, vocals) found themselves playing together for the first time at the Cavern, a smoky club in Liverpool. Since then it’s been decades in which the ‘Fab Four’ have sold over a billion records, a record shared with another legend like Elvis Presley, and entered the Guinness Book of Records as the most commercially successful musical ensemble ever. The Beatles, also exalted by Rolling Stone magazine as the greatest artists of all time, were children of the working class, almost all from disastrous family situations. There is also a fifth Beatles, in the shadows, his name is Brian Epstein. He owns a record shop and he is the first to understand the potential of the quartet and create their image. He makes them dress the same and cut their hair in the same cheeky way. They become a cult. Please please me was released in 1962 and from that moment on they became unstoppable, reaching the peak of their success between 1966 and 1968. In fact, ’66 was the year of Revolver, with which the group entered a radically new period. The following year comes the iconoclastic manifesto represented by Sgt Pepper, but also the sudden death of Epstein due to a lethal mix of drugs and alcohol: it will be the beginning of the end of the group. The four decide to manage themselves and this will turn out to be a serious mistake with inevitable financial complications. Also on the scene appeared Yoko Ono, Lennon’s new muse, to which will be added that of Linda Eastman, Paul’s girlfriend, later adored wife, who hated Lennon in every syllable. In short, a catastrophe. The month following that announcement by Mc Cartney, who in the meantime had already released his first solo album, Let It Be, the last posthumous act, was released. The situation within the group, then, was so complicated that in the end the tapes of the recording sessions were left abandoned in the closets, to close the most difficult album in the history of the group was therefore called Phil Spector, the legendary producer. And, with millions of tons of ink already spilled elsewhere, it is only worth pointing out that the Beatles were the first global stars of a hit not only in music but also in business, with advanced marketing making their name a timeless brand. Even now it represents a prodigious economic machine, capable of transforming the Fab Four into the undisputed symbol of the United Kingdom in the world, with various attempts at imitation: none have succeeded.